Armenian-Americans from throughout the Greater Washington DC area converged at the White House, Friday, urging President Obama to take immediate action to stop the targeted bombings of the Armenian population of Aleppo and raise awareness of the impending destruction of Syria’s northern metropolis, home to a sizable Armenian community.
“The people of Aleppo are suffering as a result of relentless bombing campaign, with the Armenian community of Nor Kiugh taking the brunt of a Turkish Government supported jihadist attack,” said Armenian National Committee of Greater Washington’s Razmik Libarian. “Now is the time for President Obama to take swift action to press Turkey to put an end to this brutality.”
The protesters echoed a June 12, 2014, letter to President Obama, by Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian urging the White House to “forcefully intervene on behalf of the defenseless and courageously struggling people of Aleppo.” Hachikian requested that the President convene “an emergency meeting of the broad-based leadership of the Armenian American community, including our civic, charitable, and church leaders, no later than next week to discuss the plan of action needed for the rescue of Aleppo.”
In conjunction with the White House protest, the Armenian Youth Federation Eastern Region teamed up with sister groups in the Western U.S., Canada and Australia to lead a targeted #SaveAleppo social media campaign to raise awareness about the attacks on the Armenian population and the tragic humanitarian crisis in Aleppo.
“Our social media campaigns regarding the Armenian Genocide and the forced depopulation of Kessab helped educate tens of thousands about these crimes,” said AYF Eastern Region Central Hai Tahd Committee member Sosy Tatarian. “The Aleppo tragedy – and specifically the targeting of Armenians – need immediate attention and we hope this effort will help spark the U.S. and international response to end this tragedy.”
The deliberate targeting and continued rocket fire of the Armenian-populated Nor Kiugh neighborhood of Aleppo by Jihadi groups with strong links to Turkey, has forced the local officials to declare the area a disaster zone and has seriously jeopardized the survival of the city’s Armenian community. Armenian health clinics, schools, churches have been struck repeatedly, and forcing thousands from their homes in search of safety.
Attacks by Turkey-supported extremists affiliated with Al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front forced the depopulation of the historically Armenian-populated town of Kessab in March of this year. Over 2000 were forced to flee at moments notice and have yet to return to their homes, which have reportedly been looted.